As there are a few female filmmakers who appeared in the Bangladesh film industry, it is hard to derive the best among them. Despite that, some great contributors left inspiration for women to participate in future filmmaking. The first-ever woman film director of Bangladesh was Rebecca. She set an example by making a film named ‘Bindu Theke Britto’ in 1970. Since then many renowned actresses have tried to make their mark in filmmaking. Let’s learn about the best female filmmakers of Bangladesh by far. Best female filmmakers of Bangladesh.
The Renowned Bangladeshi Women Film Directors of All Time
1/ Kohinoor Akhter Shuchanda
This sensational actress of the 70s and 80s was the wife of the famous novelist Zaheer Raihan. She acted in more than two hundred films. Due to her husband being a director, she started learning the ins and outs of camera and screenplay in the early 70s. Although she withdrew from the film industry in the nineties, she returned in 2008 to direct a film based on Zaheer Raihan's time-honoured novel, ‘Haajar Bachhar Dhorey’.
This talented actress was again soaked in unceasing praise and reward. Suchanda also won the National Award for Best Director and was awarded the Fazlul Haque Memorial Award in 2019. However, her first directed film was 'Bidesh Jatra' (1998). In 1999, her second film was ‘Shobuj Coat Kalo Chashma’. She has also been involved in production since the 80s.
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2/ Shameem Akhtar
Shameem Akhtar is simultaneously a scriptwriter, a director, and a media activist. She started with making a non-fiction short film ‘The Conversation’ in 19991 with the notable filmmaker Tarique Masud. Later on, she directed 'Grohonkal’ in 1993, 'Kalpurobi' in 2010. In continuation to these successes, she got many proposals to work on movies and television productions.
In 2017, she made a movie named ‘Rina Brown’ on Liberation war 1971. In the East Pakistan period, she often visited the theatres to watch movies of the 70s. It developed a fascination in her for filmmaking. She was inspired by the work of Rithik Gothok, Akira Kurosawa, Bernardo Bertolucci. Moreover, she has been an activist in the 'Cholotchitro Sangshad Andolon' during the 1980s.
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3/ Nargis Akhter
Nargis Akhter made her directorial debut in 2002with the movie ‘Meghla Akash’. The movie was honoured at the National Awards. Nargis won the Best Screenplay award. In 2005, she made 'Char Satiner Ghar' based on Selina Hossain's story, pointing out the injustice of polygamy. The story of ‘Megher Koley Rod’, released in 2008, revolves around AIDS awareness. The film won the 33rd National Award in six categories including Best Actress, and Best Story.
In 2010 her film 'Obujh Bou' not only returned the invested money but also bagged three awards for best screenplay, melody, and editing at the 35th National Film Awards. After a break of five years, Nargis directed a commercially successful movie 'Putra Ahan Paisawala'. She showed her expertise even in making the romantic genre in 2017's 'Poush Masher Peeri'. Her latest film 'Jaibati Kanyar Mon' has been released this year on 26 March.
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4/ Rubaiyat Hossain
Rubaiyat made her debut as a young producer with 'Meherjan' in 2011. That's when she caught the eye of critics. She has always excelled in ensuring women-friendly workplaces. In her second film 'Under Construction' in 2015, she has given priority to women in all fields from assistant director to photographer. Although released on a short scale, the film manages to send a strong message to the patriarchal society. Rubaiyat's 'Made in Bangladesh' was screened at the Toronto Film Festival
in 2019. The film, which mocks women's pay inequality and social ills in the ready-made garment sector, has received rave reviews in foreign countries as well. It was awarded at the Torino Film Festival and the African Diaspora Film Festival.
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5/ Shahnewaz Kakoli
Art director and playwright Shahnewaz Kakoli has made a name as a female director in her very first film ‘Uttarer Shur’. It was released in 2012 under the banner of Impress Telefilm. This movie won National Film Awards in 4 categories including Best Film. Among them, Kakoli herself got the award for the best storyteller. The producer skillfully portrayed the rural singer and his worldly tension on a 35 mm screen. In 2015,
She made ‘Nodijon’ which won the national film award for the best side character. Another of her creation ‘Jolrong’ was released the same year.
6/ Samia Zaman
Journalism is her first love. She emerged as a journalist and presenter on BBC and Ekushey Television in the 90s. She was associated with the short film movement in the 80s as an activist. Currently, she is working as the captain and editor of Ekattar Television. She had a special fondness for cameras and media due to her journalism. This was revealed in the 2006 film 'Rani Kuthir Baki Etehash'. Although the film was released in a short range, the songs of the film have already gained popularity.
In 2014, the second film 'Akash Koto Doore' was released under the banner of Impress Telefilm and made with the government grant. The film also managed to win the love of the audience.
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7/ Shabnam Ferdousi
This filmmaker has won the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy Award and Ananya the Top Ten awards. She won the Best Short Film Award for Documentary ‘Bishkabbo’ at the 14th Rainbow International Film Festival. As of January 2018, he has made 18 documentaries. A touching chapter of the 1971 War of Liberation is that many war children were sent abroad after the country became independent, while others grew up in this country keeping their birth identity secret.
Producer Shabnam Ferdousi found the children who are living in a crisis of identity in their own country. She made a documentary 'Janmasathi' based on the lives of three war children found in this way. It won the Best Documentary Award at the National Film Awards 2016. It was co-produced by Ekattar Television and the Liberation War Museum.
These female filmmakers have shown the ways of crafting the story as per the custom of Bangladesh.